American citizens planning short-term visits (under 90 days) to participating European countries for purposes such as tourism, business, transit, or medical reasons will be required to apply for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) starting in 2024. This program has been introduced as a response to the global rise in terrorist activities and aims to screen travelers arriving from overseas.
The ETIAS program was initially approved in 2016 and has taken four years to develop the necessary systems. These systems are designed to seamlessly integrate with existing immigration databases and other security resources across the participating European countries.
In 2024, citizens of the United States of America will need to complete an ETIAS application before boarding a flight, sea vessel, or coach vehicle bound for Europe. This requirement applies even to travelers who are only transiting through Europe en route to other destinations.
If an American citizen intends to stay in Europe for more than 90 days or for purposes not covered by the ETIAS program, they must apply for a Schengen visa. For more information and to initiate the ETIAS application process, please visit https://etias.com/ and use the homepage assessment tool.
We strongly recommend that American citizens complete their ETIAS applications at least 96 hours before their departure date. For comprehensive details, refer to the ETIAS requirements page and the ETIAS FAQ section. Familiarizing yourself with these resources prior to commencing your ETIAS application can help prevent delays or the possibility of your ETIAS application being rejected.
Starting in 2024, it will be mandatory to be a full American citizen to apply for an ETIAS. Travelers holding passports or travel documents with different statuses will need to apply for a full Schengen visitor visa instead of an ETIAS. U.S. Green Card holders will also need passports from ETIAS-eligible countries; otherwise, they will be required to obtain a Schengen Visa.
American citizens can generally expect their ETIAS applications to be processed and approved within minutes. The authorization will be sent via email in the form of a PDF document. There is no need to print or present any physical documents, as the ETIAS information is electronically linked to the passport details stored in the European Immigration system. Another technological advancement, which helps us save some time.
By saving time, these technological breakthroughs and solutions are constantly improving our everyday life. This is truly a sign that we are living in the fourth Industrial Revolution. But one must remember that, even though we can google the most beautiful of views, the difference between seeing something beautiful on your phone and seeing it in real life is immense. Let the technological advancements be a refinement to our everyday life and make sure to use them as a tool to save more time, in order to be able to travel more and experience true beauty with your very own eyes.